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Stephen Hawking recently stated the opinion that Earth should not attract the attention of likely extra-terrestrial life through intiatives such as active SETI.  While the possibilities he describes are frightening, is Earth a plausible target for space marauders?

I don’t believe it is.  Earth has little to offer to life that may possess the capability of intergalactic travel.  The advanced technology needed for this kind of travel would require the capability to harness huge quantities of energy that probably surpass what is delivered by the Sun we orbit.  It frankly wouldn’t be worth the trouble to life that can make it here.

In spite of disagreeing with the conclusions that follow from his disavowal of the search for intelligent extra-terrestrial life, I agree that active SETI is a foolish enterprise and that Earth needs a more tightly-regulated global outlook on this kind of intentional transmission into space.  Earth is a planet but also a space capsule for all of life as we know it, and we must take better care of it from within and from without.  It often takes the mind of a genius to help us recognize this.  In Hawking’s case, it’s the galactic perspective.

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